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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-29-2004, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Bought a decibel meter today....

There's been so much talk about aftermarket pipes lately that I went out and bought a sound meter today to measure the pipes on my bikes. It's a cool gadget, and it's pretty accurate. My little 600 cruiser (stock) was ranging around 65 to 70 decibels and the VTR (with D&D pipes) was pushing 110+


I also dug out one of my old stock exhaust pipes from the VTR and read the panel embossed on the side. It said something about the EPA limit of exhaust sound at 80 decibels.


If 80 is the legal limit, I can only see a Harley meeting the limit at idle. When they give it throttle there is no way they are 80 or below. So if you get pulled over I guess a cop would only test you at idle?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-29-2004, 09:55 PM
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at what distance where you measuring from cause i do believe there is a standard distance to measure from.

also too ive had mine for years got it from radio shack with the LCD digital display but i use it more for my surround system, and never once for my exhaust.

besides who cares...i cant even imagine me getting a ticket for a loud pipe and having to go to court...could you imagine the shit i could cause from all the h.d. bikes running just about ANY pipe?

hahaha i would think it would be dismissed.



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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-29-2004, 09:57 PM
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I think they're supposed to be 50' away. Although, I've heard that some officers take the measurement up close.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-29-2004, 09:57 PM
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That's cool, how much and where from?

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-29-2004, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SloRoll
I think they're supposed to be 50' away. Although, I've heard that some officers take the measurement up close.
That's when you have them put there ear up near the tip and you do the ignition trick

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-29-2004, 10:01 PM
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My "new" bike has them new anti-stealth straight pipes.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-29-2004, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SloRoll
I think they're supposed to be 50' away. Although, I've heard that some officers take the measurement up close.
The distance the measurement is taken at does make a significant difference in the decibal reading!
I have heard of the cops coming through that gas station across the street from Rocking Roll MCDonalds and giving out tickets 1. if your pipe had a "name" on it, any name, as in aftermarket, and 2. with their sound meter being held right outside of the exhaust tip. Now that is some straight-up BS

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-29-2004, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bmoney
The distance the measurement is taken at does make a significant difference in the decibal reading!
I have heard of the cops coming through that gas station across the street from Rocking Roll MCDonalds and giving out tickets 1. if your pipe had a "name" on it, any name, as in aftermarket, and 2. with their sound meter being held right outside of the exhaust tip. Now that is some straight-up BS
I dealt with a cop that admitted to riding a Harley, and still proceede to lecture us about loud or aftermarket pipes, then proceede to pull out a handwritten list of aftermarket manufacturers that are illegal. The reason this one gave me was that we only put these pipes on to amplify the sound. Wrong jackass, some of us like the performance first, sound is just a bonus.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-29-2004, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 6nickyfan9
I dealt with a cop that admitted to riding a Harley, and still proceede to lecture us about loud or aftermarket pipes, then proceede to pull out a handwritten list of aftermarket manufacturers that are illegal. The reason this one gave me was that we only put these pipes on to amplify the sound. Wrong jackass, some of us like the performance first, sound is just a bonus.
I'll give you a Harley sticker to put on your muffler. That should take care of that.

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And I said....."Look here brother, who you jiving with that cosmik debris? Now is that a real poncho or is that a Sears poncho? Zappa 1974
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-29-2004, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by bmoney
The distance the measurement is taken at does make a significant difference in the decibal reading!
I have heard of the cops coming through that gas station across the street from Rocking Roll MCDonalds and giving out tickets 1. if your pipe had a "name" on it, any name, as in aftermarket, and 2. with their sound meter being held right outside of the exhaust tip. Now that is some straight-up BS


Yes, the distance makes a huge difference in the reading. I found a page that gives various decibel numbers based on everyday life. Normal conversation is around 60db and me and a friend tested this to be true. We turned on the meter and had normal conversation in the room. The reading was accurate for this. We were about 6 feet from each other.


So when I tested the bike, I did it from different distances. Holding it directly by the exhaust causes the air flow to hit the microphone and gives an innacurate reading. So I did it from about 6 feet back and got the readings I did.



Here is the list I found:


*

0 The softest sound a person can hear with normal hearing
*

10 normal breathing
*

20 whispering at 5 feet
*

30 soft whisper
*

50 rainfall
*

60 normal conversation
*

110 shouting in ear
*

120 thunder

Home

*

50 refrigerator
*

50 - 60 electric toothbrush
*

50 - 75 washing machine
*

50 - 75 air conditioner
*

50 - 80 electric shaver
*

55 coffee percolator
*

55 - 70 dishwasher
*

60 sewing machine
*

60 - 85 vacuum cleaner
*

60 - 95 hair dryer
*

65 - 80 alarm clock
*

70 TV audio
*

70 - 80 coffee grinder
*

70 - 95 garbage disposal
*

75 - 85 flush toilet
*

80 pop-up toaster
*

80 doorbell
*

80 ringing telephone
*

80 whistling kettle
*

80 - 90 food mixer or processor
*

80 - 90 blender
*

80 - 95 garbage disposal
*

110 baby crying
*

110 squeaky toy held close to the ear
*

135 noisy squeeze toys

Work

*

40 quiet office, library
*

50 large office
*

65 - 95 power lawn mower
*

80 manual machine, tools
*

85 handsaw
*

90 tractor
*

90 - 115 subway
*

95 electric drill
*

100 factory machinery
*

100 woodworking class
*

105 snow blower
*

110 power saw
*

110 leafblower
*

120 chain saw, hammer on nail
*

120 pneumatic drills, heavy machine
*

120 jet plane (at ramp)
*

120 ambulance siren
*

125 chain saw
*

130 jackhammer, power drill
*

130 air raid
*

130 percussion section at symphony
*

140 airplane taking off
*

150 jet engine taking off
*

150 artillery fire at 500 feet
*

180 rocket launching from pad

Recreation

*

40 quiet residential area
*

70 freeway traffic
*

85 heavy traffic, noisy restaurant
*

90 truck, shouted conversation
*

95 - 110 motorcycle
*

100 snowmobile
*

100 school dance, boom box
*

110 disco
*

110 busy video arcade
*

110 symphony concert
*

110 car horn
*

110 -120 rock concert
*

112 personal cassette player on high
*

117 football game (stadium)
*

120 band concert
*

125 auto stereo (factory installed)
*

130 stock car races
*

143 bicycle horn
*

150 firecracker
*

156 capgun
*

157 balloon pop
*

162 fireworks (at 3 feet)
*

163 rifle
*

166 handgun
*

170 shotgun
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-30-2004, 02:10 AM
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hmmm.. i thought the decibel law applies to sportbikes only... harleys and other cruisers are excluded.. is this true?

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-30-2004, 06:24 AM
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I don't think legally they can apply the law to one type and not the other sicne they are both within he same morotr vehicle category.... or if thye made a particular reference ot a RPM limit.

I beleive the EP measure the sound limit at a certain distance 50'?? and at a apscific RPM and throttle posisiton. I beleive teh ride the biek past at a steady 65mph (freeway speed) and it cannot exceed I beleive 80 dB.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-30-2004, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cherrypicker
I don't think legally they can apply the law to one type and not the other sicne they are both within he same morotr vehicle category.... or if thye made a particular reference ot a RPM limit.

I beleive the EP measure the sound limit at a certain distance 50'?? and at a apscific RPM and throttle posisiton. I beleive teh ride the biek past at a steady 65mph (freeway speed) and it cannot exceed I beleive 80 dB.
If this is true, a bike at freeway speed is as loud as an electric shaver? That does not seem correct.
How about this as a defense in court: Your Honor, "They want my 1000cc bike, at highway speed, to be no louder than my electric razor". "Does that seem reasonable?"
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-30-2004, 09:00 AM
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If you run an aftermarket pipe in the Ironbutt you are subject to dB testing. Please note there are two different scales for testing the dB's and the decibel scale is logarithmic. So a 105dB is sounds twice as loud as a 95dB. Here's what they do. Essentially it states that stock Harley's have been measured at 105dBA and that is what all bikes must conform to. My VFR with a D&D pipe has passed every year.

Appendix B: Muffler Policy

Consistent with the rally's interest sponsoring events that will not generate opposition from law enforcement agencies or the general public, participation in the Iron Butt Rally will be limited to motorcycles capable of meeting reasonable limits on exhaust noise levels. As described below, the exhaust noise standard that will apply during the Iron Butt Rally will be 105 dBA based on the SAE J1287 test procedure. Except for riders with motorcycles granted a written exemption, motorcycles that exceed this level will not be allowed to be used in the rally.
Motorcycles with original equipment exhaust systems in good repair will be exempt from testing unless, in the opinion of a designated rally official, they appear to be excessively loud. Motorcycles with non-original equipment exhaust systems, or without a written exemption from the rally chairman, will be required to pass the noise test described below.

Detailed Discussion of the Test Procedure and Standard:
Noise standards that apply to OEM motorcycles are based on a test procedure developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) that measures vehicle noise levels during acceleration at a distance of 50 feet. Although this is the most representative test procedure available, detailed requirements for the test course make this test impractical without a test track. In recognition of the practical problems of running the drive-by test, SAE has developed a much simpler procedure suitable for use at the roadside or in a parking lot. This test, SAE J1287, involves measuring the exhaust volume of a stationary motorcycle running at 50% of its maximum allowable engine speed while in neutral. To limit the influence of other noise sources in the vicinity, the procedure specifies measuring the noise level at a distance of only 20 inches to the rear of the exhaust outlet. Because of the short distance between the exhaust outlet and the sound level meter, the absolute noise levels measured with the J1287 procedure are higher than on the drive-by test; however, the ranking of vehicles is similar.
The standard that will apply to entrants in the Iron Butt Rally is 105 dBA (decibels, A-scale). This standard is based on the highest noise level recorded using the J1287 procedure from a broad range of motorcycles with original equipment exhaust systems. Most motorcycles equipped with original equipment exhaust systems meet this standard by a wide margin. For example, late-model Honda Gold Wings have been measured at only 85 dBA on this test. Most late-model BMWs score between 90-94 dBA. In contrast, some Harley-Davidson models with OEM exhausts are as high as 105 dBA, which is the basis for the standard.
Because the decibel scale is logarithmic, a level of 105 dB sounds twice as loud as 95 dB and four times as loud as 85 dB. As a result, there is likely to be a four-to-one range in noise levels for motorcycles participating in the Iron Butt Rally. However, most people will not consider motorcycles at the loud end of this spectrum objectionable.
Some aftermarket exhaust systems will meet the 105 dBA standard. The "touring" versions of the Staintune and BMP systems for BMWs have been measured below 105 dBA. For comparison purposes, tests of motorcycles with straight pipes (no muffler) have produced noise levels of approximately 125 dBA on the J1287 test. This is four times louder than the standard and painfully loud to individuals in close proximity. Certain aftermarket exhaust systems using mufflers with limited baffling will also fail the test. For example a BMW equipped with a Staintune with a sport baffle and several popular aftermarket systems for Harley-Davidsons have been measured at about 115 dBA.
Final noise testing will be performed at the beginning of the Iron Butt Rally along with other required inspections. To minimize the risk of last minute disqualification, entrants with non-OEM systems should obtain a noise test as early as possible. The noise meters used for the official testing will be certified to meet certain industry standards. Do not rely on test results performed using just any meter. For example, recent comparisons with a popular Radio Shack model showed error rates approaching two dBA

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-30-2004, 09:00 AM
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-30-2004, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ceptor
If this is true, a bike at freeway speed is as loud as an electric shaver? That does not seem correct.
How about this as a defense in court: Your Honor, "They want my 1000cc bike, at highway speed, to be no louder than my electric razor". "Does that seem reasonable?"
So you're trying to tell me that your razor is 80db at 50'??? Are you shaving with a lawn trimmer?

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-30-2004, 09:24 AM
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I can tell you that 105 dbA at 50' is not exactly quiet. What's really interesting in that the motorcycle rating in in dbA while most city noise ordinances are specified in dbC weighting. The C weighting scale is much more forgiving to low frequencies, interestingly enough, those frequencies most likely to be generated by a business next to a residential neighborhood (electrical motors).

The A weighting is a relatively flat scale and is used for audio (stereo, etc.) measurements. Using the A weighting scale would tend to decrease the noise level over those required of businesses with the same rating on the C scale.

If the limit were 105 dbC, the bike would be even louder before exceeding the limit.

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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-30-2004, 01:35 PM
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So what about all the Civic's with the 4 inch kaboom muffler with the frog launcher out the back? Sometimes I can't tell the difference between a sport bike and one of these said cars going past my place on 88.

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